The paper-mills of Pescia are among the oldest in the world; they were already known in the thirtheenth century and, as the country around Pescia has an abundance of clear running water, this provided one of the main ingredients for successful manufacture. Printing houses, such as the one opened by Francesco Cenni in Pescia in 1485, increased the demand for and aided the development of fine papermaking.
A 'Magnani' paper-mill existed in the fiftheenth century under the name of Gualchiera, and it is still working today run by the Magnani family, but under the new name of Le Carte. The Magnani family is an old one. They originated in Emilia and mention of them is found in Bologna and Pistoia as early as 1219. They were seasoned papermanufacturers and according to the custom of their trade they moved from one town to another. Their passion for making beautiful paper was passed on from father to son.
At the beginning of the ninetheenth century, there were over one hundred paper-mills in Pescia. During the second half of the ninetheenth century, the Magnani family had developed their export trade and were selling their papers not only to their established markets in Spain and England but as far afield as the Near East and South America.
This family of paper makers have always preferred a limited, high quality manufacture to mass production, an dhave striven to produce better quality papers over many hundreds of years.
Todaym the Magnani family still fabricate handmade papers of very fine quality for limited editions, and writing papers, mainly as special makings. Thay also produce mould-made papers at their mill at San Frediano, built in 1850, holding both a stock line for drawing and printing papers and making special orders for particular clients.